Every Saturday I have a one and a half our class with Maulana Kashif, a truly excellent and solid Deobandi scholar who studied in Karachi, wherein we cover the ‘Ila al Sunan of Maulana Zafar Ahmad ‘Uthmani (Allah have mercy on him). The ‘Ila is a two volume book covering the various topics of worship with its central aim being presenting the Hanafi hadith evidence for legal rulings.
After our class today, I invited Maulana Sahib to come and have lunch with me and a few other brothers to which he happily agreed. The time spent, as expected, turned out to be extremely beneficial and I took due advantage by asking Maulana about various issues that were currently in the limelight or in the back of my mind. Amongst the questions I asked were:
 The legality of the Mawlid and the reason for the Deobandi prohibition. Maulana Kashif explained that the reason for prohibition was indeed the fact that innovative practices had crept in, such as the belief of the general public that such a celebration was necessary, and not the fact that it was fi aslihi impermissible. When I mentioned the various Arab scholars across the land who celebrated the Mawlid on a regular basis he took it with good will, Alhamdulilah. Further, an interesting point he mentioned was that the reality of the subcontinent is quite different than other countries and thus meaningless generalizations cannot be made nor can such rulings be applied to all people. He made this remark specifically in reply to my question that many non-Deobandi brothers get agitated when such rulings are thrust on them. Yet, he maintained that the people in the subcontinent had fell into a type of extremism, but did not agree on passing such irrational judgments over others of this ummah.
Rather, he made clear that the Deobandi scholars do indeed hold dhikre wiladat in high esteem and they see no harm in majalis increasing during Rabi’ Al Awwal, which is only natural for us as lovers and followers of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace).
However, the mawlid as it is customarily done is not permitted by the Deobandis.
 Regarding the vision of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) in a wakeful state. Although he said he would not go into much detail regarding this, he did mention Mufti Taqi ‘Uthmani writing about such occurrenced – in specific he related the event of Imam Suyuti – and thus stated that such visions were indeed possible (mumkin).
 Regarding the ‘aqida of the Salafis. He stated that Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah was guilty of tajsim and the Salafis followed him in this by holding onto his books such as the ‘Aqida al Wasitiyya and so forth. He went into detail regarding the Maturidi explanations of specific Qur’anic verses, such as the ones mentioning yad, ‘ayn, wajh etc.
 The Rifa’i’s and knife-piercing. He gave precisely the same answer that Sayyidi Yusuf Rifa’i gave, that such acts were not innovations but are counted among the miracles of the saints that were done out of a sense of need to bring people to the path of Islam. For Sayyid Yusuf Rifa’i’s answer one can see SunniPath.
We discussed many other topics, including what entails moral responsibilty as it relates to knowing Allah Most High and the Maturidi interpretation of the verse “We do not punish until we send a Messenger”, Tabarruk, commentaries on hadith books, the Majalla which is a Hanafi law code written in Ottoman times, and more.
We topped that off with some biryani, haleem, chicken karhai, and mango lassi.